Mr. Furious or 'Roy' (played brilliantly to the hilt by Ben Stiller) represents all the ANGRY YOUTHaround the world who are coming to terms with the pre-existing problems of past generations. He is the movie's main heroic character who, in the end, must use the power of his 'boundless rage' to personally defeat Casanova Frankenstein and save the day...and the girl (Monica). Just like the young soldiers that have historically marched into battle at the behest of the old guard, it is he who takes the battle directly to Casanova Frankenstein and settles the conflict.
Mister Furious is a bumbling inarticulate motorcycle-riding James Dean-type, full of anger at authority figures, an unsatisfied libido and more guts than brains. He always seems to fall short of the mark in his battle for self-respect. He can't quite say what he wants to say when he wants to say it (until the final battle where he finally gets it right) and displays all the awkwardness and angst of troubled young people who must work through the confusion of life.
His employer is a salty old lady named SALLY who owns a junkyard and watches the time-clock like a hawk. She represents the tired 'old guard' that live usufructually off the sweat of the young who are forced to labor in an industrial hell of their making. She calls Furious a "miserable cuss" and orders him to perform impossible tasks just for the fun of it. She laughs in his face when he logically protests her orders to tear apart a Herkimer Battle Jitney with a crowbar.
The SHOVELOR or 'Eddie' (played by William H. Macy) represents the 'Blue Collar' WORKING CLASS ( or MIDDLE CLASS ). His power is simply that he 'shovels very well' but in point of fact, he never actually uses his shovel to dig. In the movie he just basically whacks villains with his shovel and whips it around with a flourish now and then. No shoveling, just whacking.
His wife 'Lucille' (played by Jenifer Lewis) is a remarkably unsupportive African-American woman who tends a houseful of African-American Kids (obviously NOT Eddie's).
Lucille has no discernable means of support other than the hardworking Eddie, yet she continually threatens to leave him whenever he persists in following his dream of being a superhero. One can't help but wonder where she'd be off to.
Now,....do I really need to point out the 'elephant in the room' here?
Lucille and her children play into the stereotype of African-American women who raise generations of kids while subsisting on welfare. In this movie, they represent the WELFARE STATEwhich is supported primarily by the taxes paid by the middle class. A particularly heart-warming moment occurs when the youngest of the Shovelor's kids looks up and says "I believe in you Dad". Lucille of course counters with "Don't encourage your father Roland".
It is interesting to note that in the movie's darkest moments (after the death of Captain Amazing) it is the Shovelor who turns things around and inspires the Mystery Men to 'dig in' and fight the good fight no matter what the cost. That says something about the strength of the middle class.
THE BLUE RAJAH!
The BLUE RAJAH or 'Jeff' (played by Hank Azaria) represents the THIRD WORLD.
His name and garb are taken from colonial British India which had to declare it's independance over the objections of 'Mother England'. His mother 'Violet' (played by Louise Lasser) represents all European 'mother countries' that colonized the third world over the last few centuries. The Blue Rajah gets angry over his mother's meddling in his affairs ("Jeffrey? Are you in the marijuana?") just as all third world countries resent the meddling of western culture in their development...and at times, their illegal drug trades.
The Blue Rajah has the ability to fling silverware (most specifically FORKS) with deadly force and accuracy. This goes to the fact thatFOOD is central to the third world's problems. The Blue Rajah's effete British accent though is a pretentious put-on which represents the third world's desire to emulate the west and achieve equality and acceptance.
It is the Blue Rajah who accidently kills Captain Amazing by throwing the wrong switch on the Psychofrakulator. Mr. Furious and the Bowler's Daughter get confused on the technical details of releasing the panicky Captain from the chair underneath the Psychofrakulator and Jeff decides to step in...and fries the Captain.
Whereas Captain Amazing represents the scientific technology of the 'military-industrial establishment', it is the Blue Rajah who represents all the under-developed Third World countries that fumble the technological ball and inadvertantly psychofrakulate the good Captain. This serves to underline the fact that developing countries who are forced to advance too fast are susceptible to making horrid mistakes.
The Invisible Boy!
The INVISIBLE BOY (played by Kel Mitchell) represents the CHILDREN OF THE WORLD or UNBORN FUTURE GENERATIONS which is a significant driving force around the world. As the old saying goes: "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world". It's appropriate, I suppose, that exactly what Invisble Boy represents is somewhat UNCLEAR. In any case, the starving children of the world and our hopes for future generations are central motivations in any culture.
Be that as it may, the true significance of children and their needs are generally ignored by the adults of the world who struggle with each other for dominance. There is a telling moment in the movie when Invisible Boy first encounters Mr. Furious, the Shovelor and the Blue Rajah. He informs his unresponsive father sitting on a couch: "I'm going into my room with three strange men for awhile". His father completely ignores the situation just as if he were 'invisible'.
The weird thing about Invisible Boy's power is that he can only become invisible when no one, including himself, is looking. I can only assume that purposefully ignoring the problems of children (not looking at them) is how adults make them secondary concerns (or 'INVISIBLE' ). Invisible Boy's big moment arrives in the final battle when he uses his power to gain access to a door which is electronically guarded by lasers. The bottom line is: "YOUTH WILL BE SERVED!"
Invisble Boy's other talent is his ability to 'NETWORK'. I take this to represent the fact that 'concern over children' is universal and speaks to everyone. Nothing spurs recruitment like danger to innocent children.
The SPLEEN (Played by Paul Reubens) represents the 'Outcasts of humanity'...the "GREAT UNWASHED"...the OLD, the INFIRM, the MENTALLY RETARDED, the HOMELESS, the POVERTY
STRICKEN, DRUG ABUSERS...And even hardened CRIMINALS...All those who cannot do for themselves and must seek help from those who can. These segments of society are a driving force as well and must be reckoned with. The Spleen is a wart-faced, lisping street dweller who wears thrift store fashions and imposes his presence on the Mystery Men. In the movie, the Spleen's power is FLATULENCE ( "If you wanna see my power, pull my finger!" ). He can bowl people over into unconsciousness at amazing distances with rapid-fire rippers. After one such demonstration the Shovelor points out "That's good shooting!" The undignified nature of his power coupled with his jarring bad looks targets him for disrespect among all the Mystery Men except for Invisible Boy. He essentially pesters his way into the group and later fixates romantically on the Bowlers daughter who tells him "There's not enough beer in the world Spleen."
It should be noted that the casting of Paul Reubens in the role of The Spleen is particularly adept. Reubens had fallen from grace in the eyes of the public due to prior sex scandals and was himself a kind of 'outcast'.
In the final battle it is the Spleen who takes a bullet in the behind, which underscores the fact that it is the poor and disadvantaged of the world who really pay in the end.
THE BOWLER'S DAUGHTER!
The BOWLER'S DAUGHTER (played by Janeane Garofalo) represents the rise of FEMINISM or FEMALE PRIORITIES. She was one of the easier symbols to figure out. Her power comes from an inherited ability to really toss a mean bowling ball which contains the skull of her dead father ( 'Carmine' The Bowler). Bowling, of course, is a macho sport and feminism, as we all know, is fueled by the memory of male dominance throughout history. The Bowler's Daughter highlights this throughout the movie as she carries on psychotic conversations with her dead father in the bowling ball who still wants to dominate her from the grave. Her feisty attitude brings her into conflict with the macho members of the group (Mr. Furious and The Shovelor).
Her greatest desire is to find her father's assassin (Tony P.) and get some payback. At their first meeting, Tony P. brags to The Bowlers Daughter that it was he who "gave your daddy the shaft" (or...''condemned him to Hell'). In the final battle it is she who takes out Tony P. (with a bowling ball to the head) who thinks he is protected by the 'power of haircare'...which is probably a goofy reference to wacky evangelist hairdos. Tony P. represents PROTESTANT religious fundamentalism which historically used the Bible and various CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS' (symbolized by the 'Disco Boys') and evangelical revivals and 'religious broadcasting' (symbolized by 'Disco Music' ) to relegate women to secondary social roles and rank servitude to males in America and patriarchal societies.
Below is the Bowler's Daughter's 'SKULL & PINS' Insignia for her final costume cape. Note that masonic tracing boards all carry the skull and cross-bones motif as well.
The SPHINX (played by Wes Studi) represents the rise of ancient religions or EASTERN MYSTICISM (NEW AGE PHILOSOPHIES, PAGAN RELIGIONS, SECRET SOCIETIES, 60's COUNTER-CULTURE, etc, etc.). The Sphinx reflects society's newfound fascination with all things mystical.The SPHINX is described as a 'heavy hitter from down south' with the ability to cut guns in half with his mind ("Just give PEACE a chance")...and he uses this power only once in the movie to save the Mystery Men from the Disco Boys. His main ability though is his leadership ability which he applies through his 'mysteriousness' (if you recall the Beatles fascination with Maharishi Yogi and the subsequent Eastern Spiritualism of the 1960's that enthralled America's youth...then you grok this power). The Sphinx totally enthralls the Mystery Men with formulaic proverbs and paradoxical truisms (except for Mr. Furious who dislikes being told what to do by anyone and hates the Sphinx's challenge to his leadership role). He then proceeds to train the Mystery men in various ways and unifies them into a cohesive unit.
Below is the Triangle Eye Motif for the Sphinx's Final Costume. There can be no clearer signal of Masonic involvement in this movie than this symbol emblazoned on his cape.
Dr. Heller represents the dark knowledge of the FREEMASONS (and Paradox Systemology) which allows the Mystery Men to attack evil with heroic 'non-lethal' methods: Canned tornados (social chaos), fabric-shrinking guns (changing cultural norms) and' blamethrowers' (polarization of society via the media). Only he is able to figure out what Casanova Frankenstein (i.e. The Vatican) is really up to with his horrible machine and helps retrofit the old Herkimer battle jitney to usefullness.
Heller appears in the very first scene, prior to the battle in the nursing home, where he is attempting to seduce senile old ladies. I can only guess at what this alludes to...but a clue comes from the swingtime band which is playing during the (obviously masonic) celebration: The Gimlets! A Gimlet is a 40's style cocktail loosely associated with Raymond Chandler's novel "The Long Goodbye". The cocktail depends upon the addition of Rose's Lime Juice...a British import.Freemasonry in America is also a British import.
Apparently Heller's inventive abilities depend upon the knowledge he gains from the ancient past...and he loves this knowledge. Note that he lives in an old broken down carnival...below the radar of the rest of society. He doesn't fight Casanova directly...but his knowledge fights indirectly through the Mystery Men.
In the last scene he is seen sitting in front of the t.v. watching the Mystery Men on the news reports and declares: "THAT'S MY TEAM!"
I gotta tell ya though...Dr. Heller needs more research on my part.